Liverpool secured their place in the quarter-finals of the Carabao Cup with a hard-fought 2-0 win against Preston North End on Wednesday evening.
The hosts were close to breaking the deadlock in the first half at Deepdale, but were thwarted on the line by a combination of Adrian and Neco Williams during a hectic passage of play.
Preston gave in the first hour Much to consider the defense of the Reds, although it was the guests who took the lead in the 62nd minute when Takumi Minamino shot in front of a defender and steered Williams’ center over the goal and into the far corner.
Liverpool’s entry in the final eight was secured in the closing stages when Divock Origi improvised splendidly to shoot a high ball over the goalkeeper from six meters.
The team sheet confirmed 11 changes for Liverpool from the weekend win at Manchester United, including one first appearance on the senior team for Harvey Blair and a full debut for Tyler Morton.
The youth was through experiences in the form of Joel Matip, Joe Gomez, Alex Oxlade-Chamberl ain and Origi added.
Just a few days after Manchester United’s Old Trafford was demolished, it was a very different Liverpool to take on the Preston championship team when they were looking for a place in the last eight of the Carabao Cup.
Nonetheless, the Reds set about asserting themselves in the competition from the start, although it was Tom Barkhuizen who registered the first attempt at goal of the game when he hit over the bar from a distance after a counterattack by the hosts.
Am on the other end, Blair was an inch or two from hitting an origi cross with his head; Preston, however, eyed another 25-game opening when Brad Potts stormed forward from the depths and was sent on target. His effort was clawed away from Adrian and behind him.
The Lilywhites would get even closer in the 28th minute when they somehow failed to cover up three clear chances in the same passage of the game.
Joe Gomez shorted knocked off the ball in front of the Liverpool penalty area, but Sean Maguire was blocked by a fine reflex from Adrian at close range after Ali McCann put the ball in his path.
Ryan Ledson’s successor was Williams on the line blocked before Potts finally shot over the bar with the half-volley from 12 meters.
Liverpool emerged from a greater threat in the second half – and Oxlade-Chamberlain failed in the early substitution just wide of the goal. </ Preston was still a cause for concern as Adrian had to prevent Barkhuizen from trying to find his nearby post.
Then, shortly after an hour, the Reds had their breakthrough. It was largely down to the tenacity of Williams – who had been pushed to a higher position on the pitch after the earlier introduction of Conor Bradley for Blair.
The Welsh international did well to hold the ball before hitting the Ball into the center of the box, where Minamino came in front of Liam Lindsay to hit over the goal and into the far corner.
As the game went into the final stages, Curtis Jones parried Rudd with a small distance from distance, but the Jürgen Klopp’s team sealed the result of the tie six minutes before the end.
Kostas Tsimikas’ cross from the left crashed into the crossbar and Bradley’s follower deflected and dragged into the six-yard area, where Origi casually hit the ball with his back to the goal thrown over Rudd.
Williams was turned down by Rudd as he had the opportunity to extend Liverpool’s lead, but their spot in Saturday’s final eight draw was already as good as b confirmed.
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